Powering my rig with Solar panels

MacWhinny

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So, I'm looking into if it's possible and feasible to power my gaming rig with just solar power. Is can use about 500W an hr when fully gaming (This also includes TV)

I'm new to power supply/solar and learning it slowly. Does anything understand what I would need to make this possible?

Say I have 8hrs of sunlight to charge the batteries to power my rig to use that much energy for the whole night (Also looking at using the rig to run servers 24/7
 

USAFRet

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First you say "just solar power", then you bring in batteries.
Then you introduce 24/7 servers.

This is not a trivial power draw.
You need to determine what your panels and batteries can produce, and what your components can consume.

Location also matters.
Seattle sunlight is not the same as Arizona sunlight.


The size (and cost) of the eventual system will be done in consultation from whatever company is going to install this.
 

MacWhinny

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First you say "just solar power", then you bring in batteries.
Then you introduce 24/7 servers.

This is not a trivial power draw.
You need to determine what your panels and batteries can produce, and what your components can consume.

Location also matters.
Seattle sunlight is not the same as Arizona sunlight.


The size (and cost) of the eventual system will be done in consultation from whatever company is going to install this.

Yer sorry, as I said I've only just started learning this stuff

So here is what I'm looking for

A generator/power bank to store enough electricity for a 24hrs period = about 10000Wh at most (If that is possible) that would also be connected to the wall socket and turn to the house electric when empty
The solar panel is to be as small as possible. No more than 5ft wide (Again if at all possible) It's not going up on the roof, I have a ledge outside my window I can put it on that's about 5foot wide. I understand that you wouldn't get 500W out of a single panel, so the panels need to generate as much power within a small panel that I can add a second/third within that space.

Or something that's as close as I can get those that specifications, generator size, and solar panels power generation

Yes, ik these are pretty specific, but my need is too. I'm not a house owner, i rent a room in a shared house. So space is a premium
 

punkncat

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There are calculators you can use to determine the size of panels, controllers, battery needed to run a specific wattage....of course your latitude, weather, and many other factors can change everything.

At this moment in time solar power is a "feel good" niche and for locations that can't be on the grid. Any option outside of a DIY is going to be severely cost prohibitive and most of the time doesn't even make sense against a power bill when you consider installation and upkeep costs of current gen solar power equipment. I feel like the whole segment is super exciting, will be the future, but has maturing to do.
 

kanewolf

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So, I'm looking into if it's possible and feasible to power my gaming rig with just solar power. Is can use about 500W an hr when fully gaming (This also includes TV)

I'm new to power supply/solar and learning it slowly. Does anything understand what I would need to make this possible?

Say I have 8hrs of sunlight to charge the batteries to power my rig to use that much energy for the whole night (Also looking at using the rig to run servers 24/7
First find out the measured power usage for the hardware. Don't guess. Start by buying a watt meter and run 12 to 24 hours. Find the actual power required.
Then you need to generate enough power to run the system plus charge for the dark hours.
That will provide you a power output budget that is required. You can then determine if it can be done with the space you have available.
 

MacWhinny

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There are calculators you can use to determine the size of panels, controllers, battery needed to run a specific wattage....of course your latitude, weather, and many other factors can change everything.

At this moment in time solar power is a "feel good" niche and for locations that can't be on the grid. Any option outside of a DIY is going to be severely cost prohibitive and most of the time doesn't even make sense against a power bill when you consider installation and upkeep costs of current gen solar power equipment. I feel like the whole segment is super exciting, will be the future, but has maturing to do.

I get that, and yes it would be pretty much a DIY setup for my requirements. I'm also in the UK and the house faces the sun most of the day. Do you have a site in mind?

This is mostly to offset my server bills. I run game servers and like playing games. Which I use a lot of KWH a day. Heck, just watching YT/Movies/anime/surfing the web for 15hrs a day is over 4.8KWH
Then alone if I have servers running that are up 24/7 or I'm having a long gaming session. Which would use about 500WH for my entire gaming setup for the time I'm gaming

It probs is cost prohibitive, but I wanted to find out what product id need and if i could do it or not.
 
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USAFRet

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The solar panel is to be as small as possible. No more than 5ft wide (Again if at all possible) It's not going up on the roof, I have a ledge outside my window I can put it on that's about 5foot wide. I understand that you wouldn't get 500W out of a single panel, so the panels need to generate as much power within a small panel that I can add a second/third within that space.
25 sq feet? In a rented room?
Not a chance.

But, start your calcs here:
https://www.electricaltechnology.org/2013/05/a-complete-note-on-solar-panel.html
 

punkncat

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I typed in "solar power calculation formula" and most of my hits are specifically to this geographic location. I found one which is a bit more generic...but so is it's info:

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need: Panel Size and Output Factors | SunPower

Might suggest trying a local search to see if more relevant results return for you.


EDIT- Just FYI, we looked into having a system installed here at the house which would provide enough power on sunny days to actually backfeed to the grid (they rip you off on this) and equipment costs alone were North of $40K, not including installation.
The thing I thought was funny was, as part of the sales tactic they offer a 25 year finance option....sounds pretty good until you realize that your batteries, your controller, and the panels will all have been replaced twice (or more) by then....
 

MacWhinny

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First find out the measured power usage for the hardware. Don't guess. Start by buying a watt meter and run 12 to 24 hours. Find the actual power required.
Then you need to generate enough power to run the system plus charge for the dark hours.
That will provide you a power output budget that is required. You can then determine if it can be done with the space you have available.

So I do have those, it's actually how I've learned about WH and KWH recently. All this is due to my landlord saying the house is using too much electricity as it's a shared house with bills included.
So right now with my usage yesterday was 4.8KWH and that's just to have the PC/TV on for 15hrs a day. General use, ie web browsing and watching content online. So mostly just idle power draw.

If it was for running servers and general web surfing, it would be 7.2KWH

and gaming, running servers would likely be 12KWH
 

MacWhinny

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Unless this is completely off grid and untied from the house electrics, this is not a DIY project.

That's fair. I'd prefer it if it powered my entertainment system on its own, but just encase I used up all the stored power, id want to hucked up to the wall instead of my rig shutting down.
 

MacWhinny

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so what do you think would be the best I could get for a 5ft x 3ft space IK panels are all different sizes and efficiencies
 

MacWhinny

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so let's so for instance, I find a 1ft x 3ft panel that's 100W, 5 of those would be 500w right? if I get 6hrs of good sunlight (Yes I get I wouldn't get the full 100W) would be 3000WH, but my rig requires 12000WH a day, I'd need 3 times the panels to make up for it right?
 

USAFRet

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so let's so for instance, I find a 1ft x 3ft panel that's 100W, 5 of those would be 500w right? if I get 6hrs of good sunlight (Yes I get I wouldn't get the full 100W) would be 3000WH, but my rig requires 12000WH a day, I'd need 3 times the panels to make up for it right?
You also have to factor in efficiency losses, and charging the battery.

25 ft x 3 ft might be a starting point.
 
So right now with my usage yesterday was 4.8KWH and that's just to have the PC/TV on for 15hrs a day.
So, 4.8KWh/day, 144KWh/month. Even if your electrical company chaarges $.20/KWh, that's $30/mo. Just give your landlord these $30, and call it even. Unless you're living in Alaska or Hawaii, then up it to $40.

And don't forget that you can not just plop these solar panels on the roof, or on the lawn...

From https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state :
The average electricity rate is 13.19 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The average price a residential customer in the United States pays for electricity is 13.31 cents per kWh. What’s my current electric rate?
 

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